Exercises and stretching for after breast surgery
Exercise should be limited for approximately 6-12 weeks following an uncomplicated procedure. If you are healthy and were active before the surgery, you will find that getting back into a routine will come easily. If you ever have any concerns, or are unsure if certain exercises are appropriate for you, talk to your medical providers for guidance.
Most women feel well enough for gentle stretching one week after the procedure. Start with slow and controlled motions that are approved by your surgeon. Any stretches that cause pain or bleeding around the incision sites should be discontinued immediately. Our favorite stretches for pain relief and stiffness are described below.
Place your hands on both sides of a door frame above your head. Take small steps forward until you feel a stretching feeling across your chest.
Roll It Out
Start sitting on the floor with the foam roller behind you perpendicular to your spine. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Your hands should be behind your ears with your elbows out wide. Use your core and support yourself while rolling towards your feet so the roller goes up your spine. When you hit a spot that feels tight, hold there for 20-30 seconds.
Open Book Stretch
Lay on your left side with your left arm straight out and your right knee bent supported on the foam roller. Place your right hand in your left. Take a deep breath in and, as you breathe out, open your right arm as far as you can. Look to the right and think of rotating at the upper back, keeping your leg on the foam roller. Take 3 deep breaths. Close “the book” and repeat 2 more times. Repeat other side.
Pectoralis Muscle Stretch
Lay with the foam roller parallel to your spine. Support your head with the top of the foam roller and your pelvis with the bottom. Bend your knees and try to remove any arch from your spine. Hold your arms out straight in front of your face. Take a deep breath in and, as you breathe out, open your arms and try to place the back of your hands on the floor. Raise or lower your hands to find a comfortable stretch. Hold for up to 3 minutes.
As you sit back on your folded knees, reach your arms forward and rest your forehead. For added stretch reach your arms out to your right side and then to your left side. Hold each position 15-30 seconds and repeat 2-4 times.
Activities to Avoid
- Lifting more than 5 pounds
- Strenuous exercise such as biking and aerobic classes
- Swimming or taking baths that submerge your incisions in water
- Running, jumping, or other activities that cause the breasts to bounce
- Wearing an underwire or push-up bra
How soon after breast surgery can I get adjusted?
Typical heal time for breast augmentation can differ depending on where and how the implants were inserted, as well as how healthy the patient is at the time of the surgery. Most patients feel pretty rough the first few days and do not leave the house. But after a week or two, the patient can have certain areas like the neck, extremities, and possibly low back adjusted. Manipulations that position the patient on their stomach or apply force through the upper back or chest will be avoided for four to six weeks. Instead, your doctor will utilize therapies that allow you to be in a seated position or lying on your back. Assisted stretching, soft-tissue mobilization, using the rolling table, and acupuncture are all appropriate options to manage your symptoms and support your recovery.